Challenge Grant, Louisiana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield FoundationBy Tina Dirmann

BCBSLA Foundation Staff Writer

Just a few weeks ago, Fit NOLA celebrated their one year anniversary. That’s an entire year of free fitness classes (and increased security) at three parks in underserved areas of New Orleans.

And now, our Fit NOLA partners are proudly announcing phase two of their project, which officially doubles the number of parks (and services offered) by the program. Six parks will now offer the free fitness classes, potentially impacting an additional 20,000 residents in the surrounding community. The new neighborhoods and parks include:


“Yes, we have doubled the program,” said Erin Fitzgerald, project director for Fit NOLA, a Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant supported wellness initiative.  “And we’re just very excited to expand what we began offering a year ago. This means more free activities to more residents in New Orleans. And hopefully, in time, we’ll expand classes even further.”

10981996_544878378985140_7528742516570667033_nThe free classes include a range of activities, including Zumba, yoga, Hula Hooping, kickboxing and boot camp. (For a full list of class and times, click here).  And to ensure security, the New Orleans Police Department has agreed to increase park patrols during activity times. Additionally, Fit NOLA staffers installed security cameras at the three new parks.

Beginning now, the expanded program and classes will be promoted all over town, Fitzgerald said, through ads in the Times Picayune, radio spots, bus shelter advertisements, and, of course, social media.

But the good news doesn’t stop there… Turns out, another piece of the Fit

Mini-Farmers Market table, just for kids!

NOLA program — providing fruit and vegetable “prescriptions” to patients at area clinics, redeemable (for free) at local farmers markets — will also expand. The prescription program is now offered at the Ruth Fertel/Tulane Community Health Center. And for the first time, any patient of the clinic can request a Fruit/Vegetable Prescription from their doctor. Under previous rules, only a small segment of patients at area clinics could participate (including pregnant women and diabetes patients).

“This is what we’ve always wanted for this portion of the program,” Fitzgerald said. “Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions open to anyone who asks for it!”

Congrats to our Fit NOLA partners. And we’ll see you on a workout field one evening soon!

See spring schedule at all six parks below…


Spring schedule: Download Full schedule

St. Roch Park – 1800 St. Roch Ave.
Kickboxing on Mondays, 6-7pm
Hula Hooping on Tuesdays, 6-7pm
Boot Camp with CrossFit NOLA on Saturdays, 9-10am

Taylor Park – 2600 S. Roman St.
Boot Camp with CrossFit NOLA on Mondays, 6-7pm
Hula Hooping on Tuesdays, 6-7pm
Zumba on Wednesdays, 6-7pm
Kickboxing on Thursdays, 6-7pm

Norwood Thompson Park – 7200 Forshey St.
Hula Hooping on Wednesdays, 6-7pm
Yoga on Thursdays, 6-7pm

Conrad Park – 3400 Hamilton St.
Hula Hooping on Mondays, 6-7pm
Zumba on Thursdays, 6-7pm
Boot Camp with CrossFit NOLA on Saturdays, 9-10am

Stallings Gentilly Park – 2700 Lapeyrouse St.
Zumba on Tuesdays, 6-7pm
Hula Hooping on Thursdays, 6-7pm
Boot Camp with CrossFit NOLA on Saturdays, 10:30-11:30am

Behrman Rec Center and Park – 2529 General Meyer Ave.
Hula Hooping on Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30am
Zumba on Thursdays, 7-8pm